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/w My Children 


Annie Crowninshield Warren 






i. Mrs. Warren at the age of 88 . . . Frontispiece 

From a Photograph by Conly, Boston. 

2. Residence of Hon. Benjamin Williams Crown- 

inshield, Derby Street, Salem .... Page 4 

From a Photograph by Frank Cousins, Salem. 

3. House on Essex Street purchased in 1822 . Page 28 

From a Photograph by Frank Cousins, Salem. 

4. Portrait of Mrs. Warren by Alexander, about 

1850 Page 44 


AS their title implies, these Reminiscences of her 
Life were written by Mrs. J. Mason Warren 
for the benefit of her children, in order that a record of 
certain family events and facts might be preserved per- 
manently for a younger generation, to whom they 
might otherwise have been lost altogether, or at best 
have become indistinct memories, dimmed by increas- 
ing years. 

They were begun shortly before her death and when 
she was already approaching her ninetieth year, at the 
suggestion of her son, Dr. John Collins Warren, as 
well as at the earnest request of her daughters, who 
were unable to recall many circumstances of family 
interest, not only of her early life in Salem, but of the 
later years spent in Boston. Their completion was 
prevented by the illness which preceded her death, on 
the zyth of February, 1905, and the Reminiscences 
conclude with a description of the journey taken from 
Rome with her husband, whose failing health at that 
time had already given his family and friends grave 
cause for alarm. 

Annie Crowninshield was the youngest daughter 
of Honorable Benjamin Williams Crowninshield of 

[ viii ] 

Salem, who married Miss Mary Boardman, also of 
Salem. She received the name of Anstiss Williams at 
her baptism; but as she greatly disliked this, it was 
changed when she was still a child to that of Anna 
Caspar. She was however known throughout her life 
as Annie and after her marriage invariably signed 
herself Annie C. Warren. She was born on September 
19, 1 815, at the home of her parents on Derby Street, 
a delightful example of one of the old Salem houses, 
which in recent years has become the property of the 
Old Ladies' Home. Another of the Crowninshield 
residences, close by on Derby Street, was demolished 
to make room for the Salem Custom House. Her 
father also owned a farm, including an agreeable 
country house, at Topsfield, near Danvers, which has 
more recently become the property of the heirs of the 
late Thomas W. Pierce. 1 

Amid these scenes and the associations of a large 
circle of relatives and friends, belonging to those 
families who composed the high-bred and aristocratic 
society of Salem during the early part of the nine- 
teenth century, the first days of her youth were passed. 
Later, these were varied by life in Boston, where her 
father owned a large house at the corner of Somerset 
and Beacon streets, and occasionally by visits to 
Newport and to Europe. Mr. Crowninshield was 
1 See Appendix, note 8. 

[ix ] 

for many years a member of Congress, and was Sec- 
retary of the Navy during the Administrations of 
Presidents Madison and Monroe. Descriptions of 
this period have been given in greater detail in the 
letters of her mother, published privately in 1905, 1 in 
the preparation of which she took an active interest 
and to which the present Reminiscences may be said 
to serve, in a sense, as a companion volume. 

From her father Mrs. Warren inherited a love for 
the beautiful, which her visits to Europe and her oc- 
casional residence in Rome only served to increase. 
From her mother she derived those more gentle and 
delicate characteristics, that fondness for home and 
family and its surroundings and the domestic side 
of life, which appear in the letters of Maiy Board- 
man Crowninshield. In her character were blended 
many qualities which were distinctive and unusual, 
and which endeared her to those who could fully ap- 
preciate them. Her extreme delicacy of taste and feel- 
ing, almost foreign in its expression, was an elemental 
part of her nature. Her great interest in the little 
things of every-day life, as well as an acquaintance 
with the affairs of the world, gave to her mind a 
peculiar and rather unlooked-for characteristic. The 
effects, also, of her early studies and education in lit- 

1 Letters of Mary Boardman Crowninshield, 1815-1816. 
Edited by Francis Boardman Crowninshield {her great-grandson). 


erature showed themselves at all times in her appre- 
ciation of poetry and the works of the best writers. 
Her memory was remarkable, and served to increase 
the charm of her conversation and her manners, which, 
to those who were admitted to her intimate acquaint- 
ance, possessed all the grace and elegance of an older 
school now fast disappearing. Such were some of 
the details which composed an individuality that was 
at once strong and delicate; determined, and yet easily 
swayed by sentiment and affection; filled with humor, 
yet capable at times of a gentle melancholy; one in 
whom light and shadow and the varying forces of 
human nature seemed unexpectedly to combine in an 
harmonious union, that was at once responsive and 
piled with dignity. 

Her marriage in 1839 to Dr. ] . Mason Warren, 
the son of Dr. John C. Warren, threw her even more 
constantly than when she was a child into the society 
of men of Letters, Politics, and Science. Such states- 
men as Webster and Everett were constant visitors at 
her father's home, or at the house in Park Street, 1 
where she and her husband lived afterwards for many 
years. Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Lothrop Motley, 
James Russell Lowell, Agassiz, Longfellow, Thomas 
G. Appleton, and a host of others were among the 

1 No. 2 Park Street, subsequently remodeled into an office build- 

[ n ] 

brilliant figures of a society in which she lived for 
more than half a century. 

As her years increased and, one by one, those who 
had so conspicuously formed the life about her passed 
away, she withdrew into an intimate family circle 
which, rather than society, had always been her chief 
interest and concern ; and to a younger generation she 
has herself left the memory of that period in which 
she lived, as well as of her many delightful qualities. 
These Reminiscences of her Life, therefore, are now 
published by her children, as a token of their love 
and affection. 



Of My Life 

zJMarch 1901 

WAS born September 19, 181 5, on 
Derby Street, Salem. My parents were 
Benjamin Williams and Mary Board- 
man Crowninshield. My brothers and sisters were 
Elizabeth Boardman, Mary, Benjamin Yarnum, 
Francis Boardman, George Caspar, Edward Augus- 
tus, and Lucy Ann. 

My father's parents were Man* Derby and 
George Crowninshield. He had two sisters, Mary 
and Sally; and five brothers, John, Jacob, Richard, 
Edward, and George, the last being the owner of 
the barge Cleopatra. Man* married Mr. Xathaniel 
Silsbee. Sally married Mr. John P. Rice (their 
daughter was Sarah Sherman). 

My mother's parents were Mary Hodges and 
Francis Boardman. She had two sisters : one, Eliza- 
beth who married Mr. Xathaniel Bowditch, the great 
astronomer, and died one year after her marriage, 


in consumption ; the other, Sally, who married Mr. 
Zachariah Silsbee: so that my father's sister and also 
my mother's sister were married to Silsbees who 
were brothers. 

My mother also had a brother Francis, who 
married Miss Mead. She died early, leaving an only 
child, a daughter Mary, who was given to the care 
of my mother. This daughter married Mr. Phillips 
and was the mother of Mrs. George H. Mifflin. 

Of my father's family I personally knew but little. 
His parents died before I was born. The brothers 
were in partnership with their father, and continued 
the business after his death, being engaged in mer- 
cantile affairs. During the War of 1812 they were 
very active and became famous in privateering and 
had many experiences with their ship America. The 
business was changed by the retirement of John and 
Richard. Edward died young. Jacob, Benjamin, 
and George continued the business. Richard made 
a mesalliance with an uneducated Irishwoman, and 
was probably never legally married. His son Rich- 
ard was implicated in the murder case of Captain 
White. Although this was very distressing to my 
father, for his brother's sake, there had never been 
any recognition of that family by the others, and they 
were unknown to us and comparative strangers. 

John married a cousin, was the father of those 

[3 ] 
who lived in Andover, and, having lost his money, 
my father left at his death a large trust property for 
their support. George was young, handsome, and 
active in the War of 1 812. His famous yacht Cleo- 
patra won him a world-wide reputation, at home 
and in Europe, where he became very intimate, while 
crossing the Mediterranean, with the Bonaparte 
family during their stay at the island of Elba. All the 
crowned heads visited this wonderful boat, which 
was furnished in regal style. On his return to Salem 
George died very suddenly ' of heart disease at an 
early age. He received many valuable souvenirs 
from the Bonapartes, which different members of the 
family now possess. A snuff-box which Bonaparte 
himself had used was given to him by the sister 
Pauline, and my son Dr. J. C. Warren now has it. 
Jacob and my father (Benjamin) entered political 
life. Jacob was made Secretary of the Navy under 
Jefferson's Administration, but declined on account 
of his health, and died soon after, leaving four chil- 
dren, — two daughters and two sons. The oldest 
son, Jacob, married a Miss Schuyler of New York, 
and was the father of the late Rear-Admiral Arent 
Schuyler Crowninshield. The second son, William, 
went abroad for pleasure, and was accidentally 
drowned while crossing the Mediterranean in his 
1 Novmeber 26, 181 7. 


travels. While in Paris he purchased many valua- 
ble works of art for my father, one being the clock 
representing the motto, "Cest F amour qui fait 
passer le temps" which is now in my possession. 

My father was the guardian of these children, 
who were orphans, their mother dying before their 
father; consequently the daughters became mem- 
bers of our family. Although my mother had already 
a large family to manage, having eight children to 
care for, she did not hesitate to take the eldest, 
Sally, into her household. She was a very handsome 
and attractive girl, with a large fortune, and soon 
became engaged to a promising young man, Mr. 
Richard S. Rogers. One of my earliest recollections 
was her wedding at our house in Derby Street. I 
was probably about four years old. I remember 
being fitted to a little white frock and a pair of 
bright red shoes. I was held tightly by my Grand- 
mother Boardman during the ceremony, and told not 
to speak a word. Nevertheless, the pinching of my 
new shoes made me say in a loud voice, "Grandma, 
my shoes hurt my feet." 

Mary, the other daughter, and sister of Sally, 
lived with a friend of my mother's, a Mrs. Hosmer. 
She married Mr. William Putnam Endicott of Salem, 
a descendant of Governor Endicott. These ladies 
were very dear to us, and were always addressed as 

Cousin Sally and Cousin Man-, and were most kind 
and devoted to me through their lives. I lived very 
often when a child at their homes, and they were v 
fond of me. I passed a whole winter with )^ Irs . Endi- 
cott at her Danvers home when my mother was in 
Washington, later in life. My mother had a kind and 
benevolent disposition, and was never tired of doing 
for others. She also had a distant relative who came 
and lived with us, named Susan Mead. She thought 
that perhaps she would assist in looking after some 
of us. She was a great beaut}*, and soon became en- 
gaged and married a Captain Whittredge of Salem. 

My brother Edward, being only fifteen months 
younger than myself, was my constant companion. 
We had a sister younger than he, named Lucy Ann. 
When we all had whooping-cough, I was sent to stay 
with my grandmother, who made a great pet of me. 

My Grandmother Boardman lived on Pleasant 
Street, directly opposite the arched-gate entrance to 
the Common. Her treatment of whooping-cough 
was to give me gin-and-sugar in a tumbler, with a 
spoon to sip it with, and the lumps of sugar made it 
very Dice, I thought. My little sister was treated by 
my mother's physician, Dr. Treadwell, with pruss:: 
acid, and it was thought it was given in too large 
quantities, and she died. I was taken from my 
grandmother's and went home to see her as she I 


on her bed, dressed and motionless. I asked why she 
could not speak to me, and was told she was "dead" 
by the nurse. "What is that?" I said. I was then 
told that everybody died. I said, "Shall I die?" I 
have never forgotten the cloud that hung over me 
for days, and indeed ever since. I remember well the 
gloom and sadness of her funeral, as I heard the 
church bells and saw the carriages as they passed 
my grandmother's house to the old burying-ground. 

The only other association I have of those infant 
days was being burned in my bed with a warming- 
pan. My cousin Sally (afterwards Mrs. Rogers) was 
to share it with me, and she, being afflicted with a 
swollen face, had her part of the bed warmed, and 
I was forgotten by the maid, and my leg badly 
burned. Also I remember preparations for a grand 
ball, which was to take place. It was the custom to 
have the floors of the dancing-rooms chalked. An 
artist was employed to draw appropriate designs in 
black and white crayons, a large one in the centre 
representing Terpsichore, the Goddess of Dancing, 
and the others, in the corners, musical instruments. 
Of course, they were soon disfigured, but gave a very 
pretty effect at the beginning of the party. 

The house was a very large one. There was a front 
on Derby Street opposite the Crowninshield Wharf, 
and I well remember seeing the old historical Prize 

Ships lying there at anchor. Leading to the front 
door was a long flight of steps with a grass-plot each 
side of the entrance, where my brother Edward and 
I played together. I remember a Sunday evening 
when the Rev. Dr. Bentley, a distinguished and 
remarkable man, and preacher of the East Church, 
was present. He was very fond of doughnuts, which 
were especially prepared for him. There were two 
long parlors on each side of the entrance, and the 
ballroom had a red velvet paper with gold stars, 
which was thought very wonderful, as the like had 
never been seen in Salem. Across the hall was an 
elegantly furnished drawing-room. The house had a 
street on each side of it, with entrances. Besides the 
rooms already described there were others, for more 
common use, such as the dining-room, library, etc. 
The family was a very large one in those days, 
as my mother had eight children and two young 
ladies about the ages of my eldest sisters. These 
were Sally Crowninshield and Susan Mead, of whom 
I have previously spoken. This is all I can remember 
of my life in Derby Street. I was always a great 
deal with my grandmother. The house which she 
lived in was large, and had been arranged to accom- 
modate two families; and her daughter Sally, who 
married Mr. Zachariah Silsbee, occupied a part of 
it. She was a great beauty, with a madonna face, 


her figure not graceful, though tall. My mother 
however had much grace, as well as beautiful arms 
and hands. The children of each family became 
very intimate, and we were like brothers and sisters. 

At about this time I was sent to a school kept by 
a man, and with much older girls. I was, I think, 
about seven years old, and I remember how dis- 
tressed I was on my seventh birthday, when told 
by my brother Frank that I must throw away all 
my dolls and was no longer a child ! 

At the school, I was placed with my cousin Mary 
Silsbee, afterwards Mrs. Sparks, and she taught 
me to write my name, which I remember was dated 
1 821. Still I could not really write yet; but could 
read, and I soon began to study the Latin Grammar. 
In 1822 my father bought a large, handsome house 
in Essex Street, directly opposite the Market House, 
which was set back in a square. 1 It had a carriage 
entrance, and this opened into a large yard extend- 
ing to a back street and including a garden, prettily 
laid out, with a summer house at the end of it. Here 
my brother Edward and myself, with one cousin, 
Sarah Silsbee, passed much of our playtime. My 
mother took great pleasure in the garden, and al- 
ways accompanied us on our walk at sunset, on sum- 
mer evenings. Next door to us was a family, the 
1 See Appendix, note 7 


Ammm. ::' ::z: maiier. laiie-: arm a 
brother (a widower), with his daughter, all living 
together. They had a very beautiful garden next 
to ours, but much larger, and with m 
ers. We were much pleased whenever we heard a 
call, over die fence that separatee mien?. 

frcm me :: mme larlie?. ~i.: ~ em er.mymr meir 
evening walk, asking us to come in and join them. 
Tiem ladles -maid zi'.tz. mme arm rass ar. evening 

_e: renamed it. 
she took me with her. 

A: : - : : — ay :: mmmz me 

: 7 : " ' . an a 

:~ '":-: me rmmm :: :r.'e 

::•::■ zr.TZ.ti 

top, and set in a wooden frame. Then a little door 

me a :r. ■ : :::-:.:: : 

:r:m me ~ zod-rmes Tie Misses Asmm bad sm.erai 
in their parlor, and immediately one would be of- 
fered m a vislmr. Tie brmme: ~ .is firm :f exercise. 
:e: iem m 

vlvim be snivelled :i:m :xe spm m an: lie: ti::. 
mimlrm. miixr it early i:m be:i:e breakfast 
ma: mm:; 

:s :: mis. 1 mini, my fame: 
^erreia r :: 
Navy in Madison's administration: therefore, my 

[ io] 
mother and two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, went to 
Washington for the winters. 1 This was accomplished 
in my father's private carriage ; driving to Providence 
and taking the steamboat to New York, carriage 
and all ; and thence, slowly, they reached Washing- 
ton. My sisters, being yet in their teens, were left 
in Philadelphia at a French Boarding School. My 
brother and myself were left in Salem, and my 
grandmother closed her own house and moved to 
ours in Essex Street. My cousin Sarah Silsbee 
always passed the winter with us, as she was of the 
same age as myself. Her mother had a large family 
and was a great invalid. In consequence, my 
mother was most kind and attentive to all the 
children. In fact, we were almost like one family, 
and brothers and sisters, instead of cousins. 

At this time I was promoted to a new school 
kept by Mr. Thomas Cole, and my cousin Sarah 
and I went together to it, twice a day, two sessions. 
It was of a high order, a private school under the 
management of a committee, and limited in the 
number of its pupils — I should say about thirty 
scholars. Every quarter there was an examination, 
and the committee came to hear the recitations. 
Great attention was paid to Mathematics, and two 
whole days, Tuesday and Friday of each week, were 

1 See Appendix, note I. 

[ II ] 

given up to that study. Books on Algebra, Geom- 
etry, Euclid, and Colburn's Arithmetic were used. 
Our other studies were of a high order also : Sunday, 
at home, Butler's Analogy for our Monday's lesson, 
then Paley's, Stuart's Philosophy, Hedge's Logic, and 
many others I cannot now recall. Regular themes 
were required each week, and always a sketch of 
the Sunday's Sermon. We were all required to 
be in our seats when Mr. Cole arrived, and as he 
entered the room there was " Silence" then we all 
rose in our seats, and remained standing till he 
reached his desk. He then read Prayers. A chapter 
from the Bible was selected, and each one read a verse 
aloud. Thenbegan recitations of the different classes. 

I was at this school until I was fifteen years of age. 
My mother was very ambitious for me to excel in my 
studies, and took great pains to have my French at- 
tended to. This was taught by a French lady, Mile. 
Giraud. She gave me lessons at 8 o'clock in the 
morning before going to school, as she was very 
busy; but she also had evening hours for conver- 
sation, and made us write French letters, as a very 
important part of our study. 

During all this period of my life, from seven 
years to fifteen years, I had a very happy time. My 
father had a large farm, of at least one hundred and 
fifty acres, in Topsfield, and here were passed all our 


vacations, with my cousins the Silsbees. 1 This farm 
was carried on by a foreman 2 and the house was 
kept in readiness for us at any and all times. It 
was only 8 miles from Salem, and consequently we 
were often there, and my father and his friends 
would go there for the day. We had carriages and 
horses in abundance. My mother was very fond of 
the country, and took great pleasure in her garden. 
But we as children enjoyed the barn filled with hay, 
and the cows in their stalls. Our cousins the Sils- 
bees were always with us as boys and girls — in 
fact, my cousin Sarah and I were like sisters and 
so considered by all, as she was always invited 
by my cousins and aunts whenever I was, as if we 
could not be separated. 

Music and Dancing-School were not omitted in 
my education. I took music-lessons of a funny 
little woman, Miss Mallet. For dancing, a M. 
Labouche, a Frenchman, came from Boston every 
week and had classes of different ages. He came 
on Wednesday and had afternoon lessons in Hamil- 
ton Hall, and another lesson on the Thursday morn- 
ing following, as he could not remain longer. At 

1 See Appendix, note 6. 

2 John K. Cole, familiarly known as Captain, and later as 
Deacon Cole, of Boxford, an active and highly respected citi- 
zen of that town, and member of the Massachusetts Legisla- 
ture of 1861. 


afternoon lessons we were in our best clothes, and 
our mothers came with us. In the morning it was 
an undress affair and confined to exercises only. 
At the end of the term we had a public exhibition. 
I was considered the best dancer and danced the 
shawl dance with two other girls. Then there was 
the gavotte danced with a boy. I danced with John 
Putnam, in a white muslin dress with many rows 
of light blue satin ribbon on the skirt, which greatly 
pleased me, as I could see myself repeated in the 
mirrors which ornamented the hall. This Hamilton 
Hall was a most celebrated place, and was the scene 
of many brilliant parties before my time. My sisters 
and cousins had constantly been there. Tickets 
were given out for the dances, and when the band 
opened the ball, the Manager would call out: "No. 
i, a Lady," and she stepped out to meet "No. i, a 
Gentleman." In this way every one was sure of a 
companion, although it must have been embarrass- 
ing as to your fate in the selection of a partner. 

I must not forget to tell you of our Thanksgiving. 
It was the custom of all well-to-do families to have 
their kitchens filled with groceries and provisions of 
every kind. My grandmother — my mother being in 
Washington at that time — would usually station 
herself in the kitchen and oversee the distribution 
of the food provided. Crowds of poor families filled 

the streets and the entrances to the yards of the rich 
ones. Everybody had a turkey or a leg of mutton, 
and groceries of all kinds, — a bag of flour, sugar, 
meal and corn. This was continued throughout the 
day before Thanksgiving, and the evening also. 
I well remember my sisters and their cousins Sally 
and Mary Crowninshield all going in disguise to my 
aunt Nathaniel Silsbee's (my father's sister) and tell- 
ing a most pathetic story, and they were not discov- 
ered until, having received their presents, they burst 
into laughter and enjoyed their joke. Then followed 
the dinner the next day, or sometimes an evening 
party with games, such as blind-man's-buff, and 
other noisy frolics, joined in by old and young. This 
occurred in turn at each other's houses. 1 

1 Thanksgiving Day, 
26 Commonwealth Avenue. 

Dear Annie, — My mind has been so full of a Thanksgiving 
Day of the old, old Salem days, in which you are always before 
my vision, that I must tell you about it. It was at our house>for 
the evening. All the Silsbees, Williams, Zacks, Crowninshields, 
and Cousin Mary and Cousin Sally, and their belongings were 
there. The front drawing-room had its big wood-fire (the back 
one, where the Elders were, being closed for the supper-table), 
and we younger folk were in the parlor with another bright fire, 
and the big folding doors all open, making one room, practically, 
of the whole. 

Well, they were all clustered around you, the young ones. And 
you were in a big armchair in the parlor, and small I, being about 


My intimate friends at this time were of course 
my cousin Sarah, and next Eliza Pickman (daugh- 
ter of Mr. Dudley L. Pickman and sister of Mrs. 
Richard S . Fay) , Caroline Saltonstall, Martha Derby, 
and many others. At the Pickmans' house Sarah 
and I were frequent visitors and would make visits 

7 years old, was curled up at your side with your arm around me, 
and you were telling stories to which all listened with delight. 
My dear, it is all so vivid to me that I could not help sitting down 
to tell you all about it. I see it all. And you and I and Caroline 
Pickman are the only ones left of that gathering! 

And that dear, old, beautiful home where so many noted men 
and gatherings have been, in the days of Clay and Webster and 
many more (dinners for 50 in those drawing-rooms) is now going 
to ruin, nobody living there ! I drove last summer around the old 
Crowninshield place in Danvers, where Uncle George used to be 
so much. It is a beautiful place, beautifully kept. Did not Aunt 
Maria come from there ! 

I hope I have not tired you, but I could not resist the desire to 
outpour to you, for I know old memories are dear to you. 

I hope you can read my writing, but my hands cannot do what 
they used to in this line. 

So many pictures rise before me now of your Father and Mo- 
ther, both in the Salem and Boston homes, and how kind and 
affectionate they were to me! 

I hope you have had a happy Thanksgiving Day. I only wish 
I could do as much in bringing my family about me as you do. 
Yours affectionately, 

Georgiana C. Saltonstall. 

(Mrs. Saltonstall wrote this letter in regard to Thanksgiving 
at Salem about four years before her death in 1901.) 

[ i6] 

there of a week at a time. Mr. Pickman was a great 
sufferer from gout, and, in fact, was a cripple as 
regards moving from his chair. He greatly enjoyed 
the young people and we enjoyed our visits there. 
I especially remember the Sunday evening tea at 
Mrs. Sanders's, the grandmother of Eliza and Cathe- 
rine Pickman, and the children of Mrs. Leverett 
Saltonstall and Mrs. Nathaniel Saltonstall. Mrs. 
Sanders, the mother of these ladies, was a most cul- 
tivated woman, and much interested in the cause of 
the Indians, and was always lecturing us as young 
people on this topic, as well as giving us good advice 
on many other subjects, and it was a great pleasure 
to be one of the guests at her Sunday evenings. 

My friend Martha Derby and I were much to- 
gether. She was a relative as well, her father and 
mine being first cousins. Her uncle, Mr. Richard 
Derby, lived in Boston. He married a very beauti- 
ful woman, and they had a handsome house on 
Chestnut Street. They had no children, and enter- 
tained a great deal. Their Christmas dinners were 
grand occasions, and to one of them, Martha had 
the privilege of inviting me. We went to Boston 
accompanied by her mother and sisters. This was 
a great event. I remember the stage-coach calling 
for me, and I was put into it with great care, in a 
new dress for the occasion, and after reaching 

[ 17] 
Boston I went to my Aunt Rice's (my father's sis- 
ter Sally) . They lived in Colonnade Row, now Tre- 
mont Street, and their house was where the property 
known as the Evans House stood in later years. 
It was a handsome house and beautifully furnished, 
and contained fine pictures. The next day was 
Christmas, and I was sent by my aunt's maid to the 
dinner in a new green silk dress with a scarlet plaid 
ribbon sash. The hostess, Mrs. Derby, was dressed 
in pink cashmere, with a trimming of chinchilla 
fur, a deep band on the bottom, and a small cape 
of the fur about the shoulders. This impressed me 
as very elegant. At the dessert I was greatly ex- 
cited to have at our plates turn-overs, as they were 
called, of pastry, with our initials on them and 
mince-meat inside. After the dinner came games 
and dancing. I returned to my aunt's, having had 
a splendid time, and the next day was taken by 
Martha Derby to the house of her sister, Mrs. John 

I must say here that this lady was a celebrated 
beauty. As I recall her, I feel that I have never seen 
her equal since. Nor am I alone in my opinion. Her 
very name fascinated me — Sarah Ellen Derby. 
She was tall and graceful, with beautiful coloring, 
and such truly golden hair as one rarely sees. I was 
there a long time, seeing her beautiful home, which 

[ 18] 

even then I appreciated, and was to walk back to 
my aunt's alone — my first walk alone in Boston; 
and never can I forget my feelings on a cold winter's 
day, with ice and snow in the streets. I attempted, 
after passing down Park Street, to reach the op- 
posite side of Colonnade Row. I was nearly blown 
into the air, and felt I could never reach what was 
later called the Evans House on Tremont Street. 
How very different it all was then ! Between Winter 
and West streets was a place called Washington Gar- 
dens, which was, I think, a kind of menagerie. How 
little did I dream then that most of my after life 
would be passed in Park Street as my future home ! 
My set of girls were fond of acting plays at Mrs. 
E. Hersey Derby's, in South Salem, a widow lady 
with three grown-up daughters, Marianne, Caroline, 
and Emily. Being the youngest of our set, they 
took great pleasure in acting as our managers. 
Their house was very suitable — a large wooden 
building with a circular front, giving a very impres- 
sive effect, with a large garden attached to it. One 
of the eldest wrote the programmes and coached us 
for our parts. These plays were usually in French, 
and my part was impersonating a Mile. D'Orgeville, 
a fashionable grande dame. This family of Derbys 
was not so nearly connected with us as were the 
John Derbys (parents of Martha) . A fascinating 








Mde. de Grammont, - - Miss S. A. Silsbee. 
Eugenie & Julie, her daughters, E.White — L.Crowninshield. 
Mile. D'orgeville, - - - A. Crownin^hield. 
Elise, her sister, - M. Derby. 

Gabrielle, ) ( M. A. Brown, 

Caroline, > friends of Julie, - I E. Lander, 
Sophie, ) ( M. W. Crownmshield. 

Justine, (waiting maid) - - A. G. King. 
Janette, (an old servant) - C. S. White. 

2d. LE VILLAIN CHARMANT, or the Ugly Beauty, 


Claudine, - - - - A. G. King. 
Lucette, L. Crowninshield. 

3d. LES PETITES COUTURIERES, or the Little Needle 

Mde. Yalcourt, - Miss A. Crowninshield. 

Louise, \ (E. White, 

Leonore, > her children, - - I A. King, 
Sophie, ) ( L. Crowninshield. 

Charlotte, their friend, - - M. Derby. 
Poor Woman, - - - C. S. White. 

Jacqueline, ) , , ... [ R. Forrester, 

.., n . > her children, - < „ 

Margotton, ) / S. Howes. 


and handsome family were all the daughters — 
Sarah Ellen, with whom I visited when she was 
Mrs. Rogers; next came Mary Jane, who married 
Mr. Ephraim Peabody, who became preacher at 
King's Chapel; then came Laura, who first married 
Mr. Arnold Welles, and after his death, Hon. R. C. 
Winthrop. My friend Martha never married, and 
died many years since, as have all my early com- 
panions. Not one is now living. 

At that time in Salem there were many beautiful 
women. I must recall the three Miss Endicotts. 
First was Eliza, not so beautiful as her sisters, but 
the very essence of style; her figure faultless and 
her grace unequalled, and one of the most capable 
of human beings. Nothing that could be done did 
she fail in, from needlework to house decorations, 
and she made herself most efficient at wedding- 
parties, giving valuable aid with her exquisite taste. 
She became Mrs. Augustus Perry. Martha, the next 
one, was very beautiful, and lovely in her character, 
as well as in appearance. She became Mrs. Francis 
Peabody. The youngest, Clara, was pretty and 
pleasing, but had not the great beauty of her sister 
Martha. She married Mr. George Peabody, and her 
grand-children are the present Clara E. Sears, Fanny 
P. Mason, Mary C. Endicott (who married the Rt. 
Hon. Joseph Chamberlain, M. P.), and William C. 

[21 ] 

Endicott, Jr., their mothers being Mary, Fanny, 
and Ellen Peabody. All these ladies were of my 
sister's age and set. 

In the family of Judge Putnam were several 
handsome daughters. The eldest, Louisa, married 
Mr. Joseph Augustus Peabody. She was most dis- 
tinguished for her graceful walking. I remember 
being called to run to the window quickly to see her 
sail by on Sunday in her beautiful clothes, as she 
passed on her way to church. She was the mother 
of Mrs. Prescott and grandmother to Mrs. Roger 
Wolcott. Then Elizabeth, a sister, thought very 
handsome also, married Mr. John Amory Lowell of 
Boston. Her descendants are Mrs. Dr. Sprague, the 
Arthur Lymans, and heirs of Mr. Augustus Lowell, 
who married Miss Kitty Lawrence, daughter of Mr. 
Abbott Lawrence. The youngest sister Sarah mar- 
ried my brother, Francis B. Crowninshield. She was 
very blond and celebrated for her beautiful voice 
and singing. Mrs. Josiah Bradlee and Mrs. Francis 
Bacon and the late B. W. Crowninshield were her 
children. Miss Catherine Pickman, afterwards Mrs. 
Fay, and Miss Anne Saltonstall were of the set of 
my brother's wife. Miss Saltonstall died an invalid, 
unmarried. Her younger sister Caroline was my 

I must not forget to mention my cousin, Miss 


Mary Silsbee, afterwards Mrs. Sparks, as she was 
thought very handsome and much admired; also 
my companion and cousin, Sarah Silsbee, of a 
younger set, a great beauty, and married to Mr. 
Willard Peele of Salem. 

Last, but not least, were my two sisters, Elizabeth 
and Mary. They were amongst the belles of 
Washington society, where they passed many win- 
ters. Elizabeth was always thought to have the 
most beauty, with her deep blue eyes, lovely com- 
plexion, and slight, graceful figure. Mary, perhaps 
with more regular features but not so lovely, had 
a more dignified manner. 

My father, having been Secretary of the Navy 
under Madison and Monroe, was now member of 
Congress for many years. l My mother and sisters al- 
ways went to Washington every other winter — that 
was during the long session of Congress — as the 
journey there and arrangements for the younger 
children at home made it difficult for her to go 
yearly. I had never been taken there, but it was 
proposed to me to choose whether to go the coming 
winter, or to pass it with my cousin Mrs. William 
Putnam Endicott. On my grandmother's death 
there was no one to see to the house during my 
mother's absence. It was represented to me that 

1 See Appendix, notes I, 2, 3, 4, 5. 

[2 3 ] 

there were no schools in Washington and I should 
have no friends and companions and no occupation 
or amusement: so I naturally decided to pass the 
winter with my cousin Mary Endicott. 

The journey to Washington then was very long 
and usually made in my father's carriage, with 
horses from New York. My parents would go to 
Providence first, and then take a steamboat to New 
York, and from there by land in their private car- 
riage. At this time I was, I think, about twelve 
years of age, and my mother being ambitious for 
my education, took me from Mr. Cole's school in 
Salem, to be placed at Mr. Emerson's school in 
Boston • — that being thought the finishing touch for 
a young lady. This was not to be done until after 
my visit to my cousin, so I passed that winter with 
her, it being about the year 1827. I had a very 
happy time, -as my cousin was in every way devoted 
to me. She then had only one child, William C. 
Endicott, who became Secretary of War in Cleve- 
land's First Administration. They then lived in 
Danvers, — a very pretty farm and good house. 
I recall a ball given there, and enjoyed very much 
arranging the house for it with Miss Eliza Endicott, 
of whom I have already told, as well as of her great 
taste in decorations. My cousin Sarah Silsbee was 
often invited to be my companion, and we enjoyed 


very much amusing ourselves in the beautiful little 
summer house in the garden. It was two stories in 
height, and going upstairs to an upper chamber gave 
us great pleasure, as it seemed a miniature house 
for us with our books and sewing. Outside were sev- 
eral carved images on the top of the roof. It has 
recently been purchased by Mrs. William C. Endi- 
cott (Ellen Peabody), daughter-in-law of my young 
playmate, and transported to another country seat 
not far away. 

At that time it was very much the custom to get 
up parties to go to Boston to the theatre. I re- 
member the pleasure we had, on a party of perhaps 
one dozen and more of our intimate friends, at the 
Tremont House — then a most elegant and com- 
fortable hotel — and attending the theatre, having 
supper afterwards, and passing the night and return- 
ing the next day to Salem. A young actor called 
Burke, more often "Little Burke," at the early age 
of twelve to sixteen acted the prominent parts in 
Shakespeare's plays, and all the world was rushing 
to see and hear him. I was the youngest of the party, 
and I feel now it was most kind of them to have 
taken me. The visit to the theatre, the supper at 
the hotel, was a dream to my young and unsophis- 
ticated life. The first theatre I had ever been to 
previously was in Salem, a year before this. A new 

[2 S ] 

theatre had been built in Barton Square — the first 
and only one, I think, in Salem. My mother 
was absent in Washington. My grandmother pre- 
sided at our home to take care of us. My second 
brother Francis was to take my cousin and constant 
companion Sarah Silsbee, who always passed the 
winter with us when my mother was away. The 
play was called "Sweethearts and Wives." We 
passed the afternoon dressing ourselves in any 
kind of article we could find in the drawers of my 
sisters, but were told we were not to be in fancy 
costume, and reluctantly laid aside our finery and 
went in our daily dresses. 

In the summer of that year, 1827, my eldest 
brother Benjamin graduated from Harvard and with 
high honors, having a part at Commencement. My 
cousin Mary took me to be present at the ceremonies 
of the graduating class. We were no sooner seated in 
the Chapel than my mother and sisters appeared by 
our side, returning from Washington where they 
had passed the winter, and reaching Cambridge just 
in time for the exercises. My brother Benjamin was 
a most promising young man. He was of great per- 
sonal beauty, and was frequently called the Apollo. 
Added to this, he was of most fascinating and agree- 
able manners, stood high in his studies, and was a 
great favorite in his class. In the year following 

[ 26] 

his graduation he was taken ill with typhoid fever, 
and died after many, weeks of suffering, on his birth- 
day, January 26, 1829, aged 21 years. His illness 
was long, and as few, if any, capable nurses were to 
be had, all the different members of the family took 
their share in watching by his bedside. My Aunt 
Silsbee, my father's sister, was then head nurse, and 
my uncle Frank Boardman, my mother's brother, 
never left him night after night. 

My father had passed the winter alone in Wash- 
ington; but when Dr. James Jackson of Boston, in 
consultation with Dr. Treadwell of Salem (our fam- 
ily physician), had given up all hopes of his recov- 
ery, my father was called home from his post in 
Washington. Unfortunately, he arrived too late, 
for my brother had died only a few hours before he 
reached Salem. The journey at that season was an 
almost impossible one. On reaching New York there 
was no boat to go between New York and Provi- 
dence, and therefore no way of reaching home. But 
as he was a friend of Commodore Vanderbilt, 
he chartered a special steamboat for him; and my 
father (the only passenger) made the voyage in 
safety to Providence, thence by stage-coaches to 
Boston, and finally Salem. His grief was most heart- 
rending; but all that friends could do in speaking of 
my brother's fine character and personal attractions 

[2 7 ] 

was freely offered him. The funeral took place at our 
house in Essex Street, and was attended by nearly all 
his classmates and friends. The papers were filled 
with notices of his death, and poetry and prose ex- 
pressed all that was most gratifying to my parents. 

I well remember the visit of La Fayette to Salem 
in 1825, previous to my brother's death. The pro- 
cession passed my grandmother's house on Pleasant 
Street. Unfortunately it was a rainy day, creating 
much disappointment. Also soon after this followed 
the celebration at Bunker Hill in honor of the new 
monument, when Mr. Webster's famous speech was 
made, and the never-to-be-forgotten words were 
heard by thousands, "Let it rise! Let it rise till it 
meets the sun in his coming. Let the earliest light of 
the morning gild it, and the parting day linger and 
play on its summit." 

My mother made a great deal of my youngest 
brother Edward. He was very handsome, with his 
bright blue eyes, curly hair, and lovely complexion, 
and naturally she was very fond of him, so he was 
to be taken to the historic celebration. I can al- 
most see him now, seated on the box of the car- 
riage beside the coachman, as he was placed there in 
a new suit of clothes with silver bell buttons adorn- 
ing it. I was sent to pass the day with my grand- 
mother. I felt very much the disappointment, when 


told I could not go. When our birthday came there 
was a great difference in the way of noting it. Mine 
came in September. Edward's came in February, 
and he always had ice-cream for his dessert at din- 
ner, a rare and dainty mouthful in those days, — 
while mine passed unnoticed. These little atten- 
tions were most depressing for me, and I kept, to 
comfort me, a little piece of paper in my bureau 
drawer, headed: "Unkind things mamma and 
Edward say to me." However, my mother was not 
negligent of what was for my real good, because she 
was most ambitious for me in all my education. 

I have often wondered, as I look back, why I was 
not spoiled by the attentions and kindness I re- 
ceived from all my aunts and cousins. Both of my 
aunt Silsbees, one my mother's sister and the other 
my father's sister, treated me with great affection 
and interest. I was always called for, to come and 
dress their hair and make caps and turbans for any 
festive occasion. Turbans were in great demand 
in those days, professional hair-dressers were un- 
known. So I was considered very skilful in arrang- 
ing and draping them. Then I made them long visits 
at intervals — and my cousins Sally Rogers and Mary 
Endicott claimed me almost as their own child. My 
grandmother was very indulgent and kept me well 
supplied with pennies, which I usually spent at the 

[ 2 9 ] 

confectioner's shop of John Simmons, cream cakes 
being my special delight, and which I was always 
glad to share with my cousin Sarah Silsbee. 

I must not omit to speak of the famous Gibraltar 
candy, which was made by a Mrs. Spencer and 
brought to our houses in a cart driven by her, with 
one horse, she being dressed in a quaint sunbonnet. 
They were in shape large and thick, and wrapped in 
paper twisted at one end, and were truly delicious. 
Mrs. Spencer came from England, and was said to 
be of noble birth. After her death her son returned 
to England and inherited his title, and became Sir 
Thomas Spencer, which was not unexpected. 

One of my foolish doings I must mention: I had 
been christened Anstiss Williams, being the name of 
my father's grandmother. I was called by my fam- 
ily always Annie, but very frequently by strangers 
and when spoken to in disgrace called by the formal 
name "Anstiss," with often an exaggerated pro- 
nunciation, as Anstriss. This gave me great morti- 
fication as I grew older. At that time Mr. Richard S. 
Rogers, who married my cousin Sally and who also 
made a great pet of me, was a member of the Legis- 
lature in Boston, and offered to have my name 
changed legally to Annie. 1 I then had to choose a 
middle name, and after many romantic ones sug- 

1 Changed by Act of General Court, dated March 12, 1830 


gested by my sister Elizabeth (afterwards Mrs. 
Mountford), I chose Caspar, a family name. So it 
was legally changed, and done with much less for- 
mality than it could have been later. I think my 
mother did wrong to allow me to have it done, and 
I have very much regretted my folly since. 

My father had frequent visits from the friends 
he met in Washington. I recollect distinctly when 
Mr. John Quincy Adams with his son George came 
and passed a night. At the breakfast-table the next 
morning his son George did not make his appear- 
ance at the appointed hour, and Mr. Adams said, 
after some delay, " I must summon my son George." 
This puzzled me and I was wondering if that meant 
a punishment. Then another friend was General 
Dearborn, who lived with his family in Roxbury. 
Both his wife and daughter Julia were most inter- 
esting people. The latter became an intimate friend 
of my sister Elizabeth. Mrs. Dearborn was a very 
intelligent person, and on one occasion I spoke of 
some one as being old, and she replied, "My child, 
no one is old but Satan." 

Opposite our house on Essex Street lived Dr. 
Holyoke, not then a practising physician, as he was 
very old, and lived to reach his one hundredth year. 
I used to watch him, every morning, come to his 
front door with a dark green velvet cap on his head 

[3i 1 

to read his thermometer hanging outside. After his 
death, the house was altered into a cabinet furniture 
store, and was occupied by a firm much known for 
their good taste and work, Kimball & Sargent. 1 
They made many pieces of furniture now in my pos- 
session, my large mahogany wardrobe with long 
mirror, and the four-post bedstead. Afterward the 
firm was known as Israel Fellows, which was equally 
well thought of. 

The houses in Salem were of course very cold, fur- 
naces not being thought of. A large stove in the 
centre of our hall, and wood-fires in our parlor, 
hardly made us comfortable. The snow was often so 
high in front of our houses that arches would be cut 
through it to get to the street. Coal was not used at 
all, and I remember the first effort to have hard coal 
burned in our parlor. The setting of the grate to hold 
the coal not being understood, we suffered still more, 
with no fire at all. Speaking of fires brings to my 
mind the alarm for fires given by ringing all the bells 
that could be reached; this at night as well as day, at 
which all the household rose, and the gentlemen of 
the family took fire-buckets and bags and ran with 
the crowd. My mother always said, that at the 
sound of the bells, it was not to know where the fire 
was, but where was I ? — as I was terrified beyond 
1 No. 199 Essex Street. 


words and was taken from my bed and held by my 
father in his arms. And perhaps, after all, the fire 
would be in Danvers, miles away. The sound of 
bells has to this day held a terror for me, remember- 
ing the funeral knells in my childhood at the death 
of any one, and the alarms for the fires. Not even 
Washington's Birthday at this date (1904) has made 
me forgetful of my early associations of the sounds 
and the ringing of the church bells. 

My father's life in Washington was a long one. 
He was made Secretary of the Navy in 1 81 4, * which 
office he held under Madison's Administration, until 
1818, when he resigned. 2 My mother was on most 
intimate terms with Mrs. Madison. During that 
time a Dutch artist, a Mr. Vanderpool, came to this 
country to paint the portraits of the President and 
Mrs. Madison. My father was invited to have his 
portrait painted at the White House by this same 
artist, and my mother was afterwards painted by 
him at her own residence. These portraits are now 
in the possession of my niece Mrs. John Quincy 
Adams, as they fell to the lot of my brother George, 
her father. My father was in 1823 elected to Con- 
gress, and he continued to be reelected till 1831, 

1 See Appendix, notes I and 2. 

2 My father served three years with Madison and one with 

[33 1 
which was longer than any one had then held the 

After resigning as Secretary of the Navy, he was 
elected to the State Legislature, 1 and in 1819 was a 
candidate for Governor. My mother was very am- 
bitious for her children, particularly in their educa- 
tion, and evidently she thought Boston would offer 
the younger ones greater advantages. She therefore 
planned for me to go to Boston to a then popular 
school kept by Mr. George B. Emerson. So it 
was arranged that Miss Caroline Saltonstall, my 
friend and companion, should join me, and that we 
should be together in Boston in order to attend that 
school. Accordingly a place was engaged for us to 
live in, under the care of three maiden ladies, the 
Misses Stocker, who kept a very private boarding- 
house. This was situated in Colonnade Row, now 
Tremont Street, and was very near to my Aunt 
Rice, who lived where the Evans House afterwards 
stood. 2 

We were very happy together, and enjoyed our 
school days, although it did not compare with the 
school in Salem kept by Mr. Thomas Cole. How- 
ever, the studies were easier and of a lighter kind. 
Saturday was always devoted to a recitation qf 
poetry, selected from the old English poets, in 

1 See Appendix, note 4. 2 Now No. 175 Tremont St. 

which the whole school took part. I remember my 
first lesson was Gray's Elegy. It was very long for 
one lesson, and the first half had been for the pre- 
ceding lesson before I was at the school. The last 
half was for this Saturday. So I had a double part 
to learn, which I did, and was pleased to be compli- 
mented for it. The book from which these poems 
were taken was called " Studies in Poetry," and 
to this day I have it by me on my table and in it 
written my name, with the date, June 8, 1832. I 
can at this day repeat some of the pieces I then 
learned — Cowper's Address to his Mother's Picture ; 
also from Milton's Paradise Lost. In this class, if a 
person failed to join in, when the nod of Mr. Emer- 
son's head pointed for the next one to take up the 
lines, she lost her place, and the fortunate girl was 
placed above her, so that all were ambitious to 
reach the head of the class. One young lady had 
held it for a long time and never failed her lines. 
To her surprise and that of all the class, one day, 
he said, "Wrong," and passed it to the next, who 
repeated it in words the same, but gave a different 
accent in pronouncing it, to which Mr. Emerson 
said, "Correct," and she took her place at the head 
qf the class. The line of the poetry was from Gold- 
smith's Traveller: — 

" And Ni-ag'-a-ra stuns with thundering sound." 

When passed to the next, she pronounced it — 

"And Ni-a-ga'-ra stuns with thundering sound." 


This young lady was Miss Fanny Appleton, after- 
wards Mrs. H. W. Longfellow. The other was a very 
good and correct scholar, but had no idea of the dif- 
ference to the ear of the way of reading it. She 
seemed crushed at losing the place she had held so 
long, and it seemed unjust for Mr. Emerson to have 
counted it an error. Miss Appleton was a great 
favorite of Mr. Emerson, and I think it was a case 
of favoritism. I remained at this school two years, 
leaving at seventeen years of age, with the rest of 
my classmates. My most intimate friend was Mary 
Bowditch, afterwards Mrs. Epes Dixwell; then 
Mary Warren, afterwards Mrs. Thomas Dwight; 
Miss Lucy Nichols, afterwards Mrs. Ingersoll Bow- 
ditch, and many others. I must not forget Anne 
Francis, afterwards Mrs. John E. Thayer, who was 
very devoted to me, which I appreciated, being a 
stranger coming from Salem. 

It was while I was at school that my father bought 
the house in Boston at the corner of Beacon and 
Somerset streets. It belonged to Mr. Hodgkinson, 
who had married a Miss Hinckley. Her father had 
built the house, and the one adjoining was built at 
the same time, I do not know whether by him or 


some one else. It was a very superb residence and 
rilled with beautiful furniture, mirrors and statues. 
Miss Hinckley, who lived with her father, was an 
only child. She had a romantic and tragic scene in 
a love-affair with her music-teacher, an Italian. He 
fell in love with her when they were living at some 
apartment house while this house was building. 
One day, having urged his suit and been refused, on 
entering the house he shot himself at her feet. 

After occupying the new abode she married Mr. 
Hodgkinson, a very charming young Englishman 
several years younger than herself. Her father dying, 
she inherited this beautiful home. 

I suppose, having a family (and she being of 
very retiring habits), they decided to sell this house 
for economy. My father moved into it after retir- 
ing from public life, and in 1831 left Salem, with 
many regrets at parting with his friends and asso- 

Mr. Hodgkinson was a very fascinating person. 
I saw a good deal of him while we were moving into 
Somerset Street. I was still in my room at the 
boarding-house and at school, but in leisure hours 
was at home, Mr. Hodgkinson being very fond of 
me. He purchased a house at the corner of Tremont 
and Winter streets, at that time all those houses 
opposite Park Street being private residences. Many 

years afterwards he removed to England. I was 
in Europe in 1855, when at a table d'hote dinner 
at a hotel in Zurich, with my husband, a gentleman 
rose from another part of a long table, and as he 
passed my chair whispered in my ear, "Miss Crown- 
inshield that was" — and rapidly passed on, leaving 
me in a wonder. What did it mean ? After leaving 
the table, in a hall where many of the guests were 
congregating, this gentleman came to me, intro- 
ducing himself as the one who admired me and my 
emerald earrings so many years ago. I did not 
recognize him, his appearance seeming much older, 
but his voice and agreeable and fascinating manner 
brought him vividly before me. 

Mr. Hodgkinson had a daughter who married 
Mr. Edward Bangs, and her son Reginald mar- 
ried Anna, daughter of Ellen Anderson, who was 
the daughter of Mrs. William Amory, nee Sears. 

The architecture of this house, now my father's, 
was of the highest order, and all the decorations in 
exquisite taste. My father bought many of the ar- 
ticles of furniture, all the sofas, chairs, mirrors, and 
draperies of the two drawing-rooms. These were 
on the right as you entered. A long hall with a cir- 
cular staircase took you to the next floor. A dining- 
room (very large) was on the left as you entered, 
and behind it were the back staircase, pantries and 

[ 38] 
butler's room for serving the table at dinner. Up- 
stairs, on the first floor, was a music-room with fold- 
ing doors, which led to my mother's bedroom; also 
a small but very pretty library, with a fireplace under 
the window, and a beautiful large bookcase occupy- 
ing one side of the room, the opposite side having a 
door leading to the music-room. This room was my 
favorite spot where I studied my lessons. The lower 
hall had marble columns on each side as you passed 
to the staircase, and between them were placed busts 
in marble, of some of the Presidents. 

The marble mantelpieces were Italian and very 
beautiful. One in the dining-room had two columns 
of white marble, and in the centre a carved head 
of Medusa with snakes. The drawing-room mantels 
were supported by Caryatides, and in my mother's 
chamber one was a mass of beautifully carved but- 
terflies, with garlands of flowers; and so delicate 
was the carving that no servant was ever allowed to 
clean it, and so my sister Elizabeth and I took care 
of it. We rubbed a special preparation of soap all 
over it carefully at night, and in the morning we 
washed it over with very delicate brushes, like soft 
toothbrushes, and so kept it clean. This was the 
most difficult mantel to take care of. The doors of 
the rooms were of rich, solid mahogany, and the 
handles were of cut glass, which sparkled like dia- 

monds. The curtains of the drawing-rooms were of 
India satin damask, one of them having the long 
curtains blue, with festooned draperies of yellow 
damask, and the other reversed, long curtains yellow, 
with blue valence. Altogether the house was quite 
palatial, and later when we added the beautiful 
oil paintings selected by my brother George in 
Europe, it was a pleasure to be there. Yet my father 
had many fine pictures besides these paintings, and 
the china and silver were also very handsome, as 
well as his collection of clocks, and I might add 
watches; as he had all varieties, from a musical one 
that belonged to his brother, who owned the Cleo- 
patra's barge, and who bought it in Europe, to one 
which could be used by a blind man, which he in 
his declining years slept with around his neck, to 
know the hour if waking at night. In fact, he was 
always adding to his treasures, as he could not resist 
buying any and every thing that tempted him. 

Our summers were passed mostly in town, and 
our visits to the farm in Topsfield were less frequent, 
being so far away, and to be reached only in our car- 
riage. It was thought very important to be in town 
the two last weeks in August. In those days Com- 
mencement at Harvard took place that month, and 
all the Southerners who had their boys at Harvard 
came to Boston to attend the exercises ; so that many 


of the families remained in town to entertain their 
Southern friends. My father, having been so much 
in Washington, had many friends among the fami- 
lies of the Middletons, Pringles, and others. My 
father and mother and Mr. Harrison Gray Otis 
of Beacon Street, the Ticknors, and many others 
gave a series of dinners, dances, etc., at that season, 
and all felt that that was the gay time in Boston, 
and that every one should be there prepared for the 
gaiety. Amongst other guests I remember Mr. and 
Mrs. Charles Dickens and Fanny Kemble. 

However, I remember that we passed the early 
part of one summer at Newport. We had engaged 
rooms at a Mrs. Hazard's boarding-house, and I re- 
call this visit for two reasons. First, because of the 
following circumstance : I have forgotten to mention 
that in my school life I had had a fever, I don't know 
what it was called, but I was at the Misses Stocker's 
boarding-house, and had two doctors (Dr. Jeffries and 
Dr. James Jackson) for consultation. I was delirious 
and my hair was all shaved except a little in front, 
and after my recovery I had to wear caps like those 
of a baby, fitting close. While I was at New-port 
bathing in the salt water my hair grew in the most 
wonderful manner, and I could very soon leave off 
my caps. Another interesting event was, that while 
there my sister Mary met Dr. Charles Mifflin, who 

[41 1 
fell in love with her, and she later became engaged 
to him and was married the following winter. The 
wedding took place on January i. 1S55. My mo- 
ther said that she also had been married January 
I (1804) and had had a most happy life. 

Tnis wedding recalls to me a most beautiful scene. 
My cousin Sarah Silsbee (who was always at our 
house in the winter from Thanks giving Day to I 
Day) and myself were the two bridesmaids. Mr. 
Philip van Rensselaer, a friend of Dr. Mifflin, and 
another gentleman whom I do not recall, were the 
groomsmen. All branches of the family were pre- 
sent, and Rev. Dr. Lothrop, then the pastor of Brat- 
tle Square Church, performed the ceremony. T 
took place in the lower drawing-rooms ; and upstairs 
the music-room and my mother's room, which were 
connected by folding doers, served as the supper- 
rooms. Her bed was removed, and a long table « 
placed through the two rooms wit:: for all. 

The bride cut the cake, and all were gay and merry. 
The ne::: : * left Boston for their future home 

in Philadelphia. ' 

I cannot now recall the exact order of things that 
suggest themselves to my mind. I must mention 
my " coming-out " into society, which was the win- 
ter that I was seventeen yean old At that time it 
was not made an event of such importance as it is 


by the young ladies of to-day. My first ball was 
at Mrs. John Amory Lowell's, who lived in Bedford 
Street. My dress was of white muslin, made in the 
house, by our seamstress, and I wore a wreath of pink 
rosebuds in my hair, which was yet very short. I 
felt contented with my costume, and enjoyed myself. 

My brother George, after graduating, went 
abroad with his intimate friends, Lothrop Motley 
and Lewis Stackpole. My father gave him per- 
mission, " carte-blanche," to buy him valuable paint- 
ings. This he did, and when in Italy he was very 
successful. There were six or seven very beautiful 
ones, some of them pronounced originals. In any 
case he had certificates to that effect. The one which 
I inherited was " Cleopatra dissolving the Pearl," 
by Guido Reni, and bought at the Zampieri Palace 
in Bologna, which was the School of Guido. I have 
the certificate signed by the Academy, which seems 
to bear testimony of its truth. 

I should have mentioned that just before leaving 
Salem my brother Francis became engaged to Miss 
Sarah Putnam, a daughter of Judge Putnam, and 
they were married very soon after. She was a blonde 
with a lovely figure and the smallest waist ever seen, 
and was celebrated for her fine voice, her singing 
being very much admired. My brother was educated 
as a lawyer, and he followed my father to Boston. 

[43 ] 

My brother George, on his return from Europe, 
after a year or so became engaged to Miss Harriet 
Sears, daughter of Mr. David Sears, who was a very 
distinguished gentleman of Boston and lived in 
Beacon Street in a beautiful house, which is now 
the property of the Somerset Club. This club took 
its name from the location of my father's house, 
corner of Beacon and Somerset streets, which house 
they bought after my father's death, an event 
which I am now anticipating. 

Mr. and Mrs. Sears and their family went abroad, 
and my brother joined them later, and he and Miss 
Sears were married in Paris, and remained there for 
some time. I am writing from memory, and regret 
that I cannot give the exact dates of all these events, 
but suffice it to say, they all occurred between 1831 
and 1839. 

During this time my sister Mary (then Mrs. 
Mifflin) lived in Philadelphia, and I went there with 
my mother and father to visit her. My father had 
bought her a house on Chestnut Street, and my 
mother was to superintend the furnishing of it, in 
which I took an active part, which I was especially 
delighted to do as I had a decided taste in such mat- 
ters. It was arranged that my mother should remain 
longer, to be there at the birth of the first child, and 
my father and I were sent home. On our way, we 

were to remain in New York to meet the steam- 
boat to Providence. My cousin Jacob Crownin- 
shield was living in New York, as he had married a 
Miss Schuyler, a very charming woman. He had 
taken me to his home to dine, leaving my father at 
a boarding-house kept by a Mrs. Mann — where he 
always stayed when in New York. Just at twilight, 
while he was watching for my return on the high 
steps of the entrance, a sailor who had rushed into 
the house to find, as he hoped, a bar for drink, was 
pushed out by the servants, and he fell against my 
father, knocking him to the sidewalk. This hap- 
pened just as I was returning with my cousin, and 
we saw a great crowd collected, and making our way 
into the parlor, discovered a man on the sofa in great 
suffering, and to our horror found it was my father! 
He was taken to his room, and the prominent sur- 
geon of the day sent for. He arrived shortly, and 
after examining the patient said he had received a 
compound fracture of the elbow. Here was I, all 
alone, no nurse provided, and told that I was to 
take care of him. Leeches were first applied, the 
arm being terribly swollen, and then I must put on 
hot applications after the leeches had finished their 
work, to keep up the bleeding. I was naturally very 
timid, and being left alone on this occasion, I passed 
a night that I shall never forget. 

[45 1 

It took a long time for news to reach my mother 
in Philadelphia, and a Sunday intervening, it 
seemed as if she would never come to us, and indeed 
several days did elapse before she came. After a 
short visit she went back to Philadelphia, and in due 
time my father and I were sent to Boston. The 
surgeon was most devoted, and I have made every 
effort, as I write these notes, to recall his name, but 
in vain. I had the care of my father for weeks, dress- 
ing him and putting his arm in a sling, etc. Girls 
now-a-days do not do such things ! My father event- 
ually recovered the whole use of his arm. 

At this time I was still occupied with studies. 
The young ladies in those days were not so given up 
to society. I took music lessons, attended classes of 
lectures in poetry by Mr. Richard Dana, he reading 
Milton's Paradise Lost, Goldsmith, Cowper, and 
others, with his own criticisms. 

My most intimate friend in Boston was Elizabeth 
Welles, the daughter of Mr. Benjamin Welles, living 
in Chestnut Street. I saw less of MaryBowditch than 
when at school, but Mary Warren I saw often. She 
had a French class in the evenings at her house, with 
Mile. Giraud for French conversation. Her brother 
Sullivan was then in college, but I saw him fre- 
quently, and he was a constant visitor at our house, 
and being musical would come and sing to us, a 


favorite song being "Oh, ken you the lass of the 
bonnie blue een?" which was very complimentary 
to me. 

My mother wished me to take singing lessons, 
although I was utterly devoid of any voice. I had 
Mr. Paddon, a famous teacher, and he brought a 
favorite pupil to assist him in his efforts to teach 
me, by name Charlotte Cushman. She afterwards 
became the celebrated actress. Many years after- 
wards, when she was at the height of her fame, I was 
in Rome, and meeting her often in society, I deter- 
mined to introduce myself to her, and approached 
her saying, "Do you remember your old music 
teacher, Mr. Paddon?" and then asked her did she 
recall her visits to me as Miss Crowninshield, for 
I was then known to her as Mrs. Warren. She 
did remember it all, and this brought about a very 
agreeable intimacy the rest of our winter in Rome. 

To return to my young days, I must not forget 
my old friend William Lee, who was always most 
devoted to me. He belonged to an old family with 
whom my parents had always been intimate in 
Washington, and his father and sisters were much 
valued by my own family. He was the "Beau" of 
our set, and Elizabeth Welles and Mary Ann Sulli- 
van also shared his attentions. Miss Sullivan and I 
were the best dancers at Papanti's Dancing School, 


having taken lessons of him from our school days, 
when he was in a private house in Mt. Vernon Street, 
till he presided in the new hall on Tremont Street. 
This hall became "The" hall for all assemblies and 
cotillion parties almost to the present time, and is 
now often referred to as the best floor for dancing 
then known. I believe it has not been equalled since 

During all these years I had often heard Mary and 
Emily and Sullivan Warren speak of their brother 
Mason, who was studying medicine in Paris. He 
returned home and brought a miniature .of my 
brother George, painted in Paris by D'Aubigny, 
for my mother. He called, leaving his card, but we 
were not at home, and it was not till many months 
after this, one Saturday evening, at the Hotel at 
Nahant, where the dances were given, that Sullivan 
and Mason came from Boston for one of these 
dances, and I was introduced by Sullivan to his 
brother Mason. 

My father had recently bought a cottage at 
Nahant, which was built by Mr. Bennett Forbes, 
who had sold it at auction. It was new and fur- 
nished very completely, a charming little house, and 
my sister Elizabeth and I enjoyed taking possession 
of it, for it was like a little baby house, after our 
Boston home. Therefore we were usually at the 
hotel dances. From this time Mason and I met 

often, and in the following autumn, November 
1838, we became engaged, and were married on the 
30th of the April following, in 1839. We passed 
that summer in my father's house in Boston, and 
then took rooms at the "Albion," corner of Bea- 
con Street and Tremont Street, now occupied by 
Houghton & Dutton. During that autumn my 
father bought two houses just built and next to each 
other, in Pemberton Square, one for me and the 
other for* my sister Mary, Mrs. Mifflin, who was 
now a resident of Boston. 

I must not forget to speak of the pleasure and en- 
joyment we all had in my sister's beautiful little girl. 
She was named for our sister Elizabeth, who was the 
companion of Mary, and naturally had a right to the 
name. I made many of the dresses that welcomed 
her into the world, and went to Philadelphia to cut 
and make her second set of dresses, as I always had a 
taste in that accomplishment. So we were all most 
anxious to bring her to Boston to reside perma- 
nently with us. She seemed much like a younger 
sister to me, and was more often at our own home 
than with her parents ; and as other children were 
added to the family, her mother gave her to her 
aunt Elizabeth. She was remarkably handsome; 
and a young woman who painted miniatures came 
to our house in Beacon and Somerset streets to 

paint her picture. I held her in my arms for all 
the sittings, and the picture is now in possession 
of her grandson Gardiner Greene Hammond. 

Our visit to Philadelphia had other attractions, as 
Dr. Mifflin's family were charming people. His 
mother had foreign blood in her veins, and was aris- 
tocratic and fascinating. She was very entertaining, 
and enjoyed a good story. She used to tell of my 
father's first call upon her after my sister's mar- 
riage to her son. My father was very exact in all 
things, and particular that everything should be 
placed even and straight. So, accordingly, he was 
seated on one side of the fireplace, and Mrs. Mifflin 
on the other, and having viewed a rug not laid 
straight between them, he said, "Madam, will you 
allow me to even your rug?" 

My mother was never happy till my sister with 
her child — only an infant — came to live in Bos- 
ton. They first occupied a house owned by my 
father in Mt. Vernon Street, opposite Louisburg 
Square. This troubled my mother, as she objected 
to the steep hill, as her horses were restless, and she 
so timid. She was anxious to have her nearer our 
own home. So my father bought the two adjoining 
houses in Pemberton Square which was very near 
by. This was not thought a very favorable situation 
for a young doctor, so my husband had his sign, 

[ So] 
with his name and address, placed on the outside of 
a shop at the corner of Tremont Street and Pember- 
ton Square. We moved into the house about a year 
after our marriage. My daughter Mary was born 
January 26, 1841. My mother died on October 
5, 1840, after a rather long illness, with much suf- 
fering of pain, and some organic trouble of her liver. 
I was with her constantly, as a nurse, till my mar- 
riage. She was only 62 years old, but seemed much 
older than one at that age would now appear. Her 
hair, though long and thick and of a brown shade, was 
a little white in front; but it was all combed back, 
and a very heavy, thick frisette of false hair in curls 
was tied round her head. I was her hair-dresser, 
and creped and curled the hair to make it become 
her. She had a fine physique, and was very tall and 
stout, but not fat, with beautifully shaped hands 
and arms. She was devoted to those in her charge, 
and had a truly lovely and disinterested disposition, 
doing all in her power to help and assist others. 

Dr. Warren's mother died the following June, so 
my children never had a grandmother. 

My second child, a boy, was born May 4, 1842, 
named for his grandfather John Collins Warren, and 
on August 22, 1843, another boy, named Mason, 
for his father, was added to the family circle. 

My husband's health having been always deli- 

[5i ] 
cate, he was advised to take a vacation in the 
summer, and accompanied by a friend, Francis 
Appleton, he went abroad for a few months. They 
sailed in the spring of 1844. I, with my three 
children, was to pass the summer at Newport. 
My sister-in-law, Mrs. Dwight, and I had engaged 
rooms in a private farmhouse very near the beach 
used for sea-bathing and owned by a Mrs. Perry. 
We had a pleasant summer, and in August I went to 
Boston to meet my husband on his return. He had 
sailed, on his outward voyage, in the Europa, and it 
was the year that Boston Harbor had been frozen 
solid. I shall never forget the gloom and despair the 
day he sailed, caused by his leaving us. His father 
and Mr. Appleton's father had arrived to take them 
to the steamer, and later I with my little daughter 
Mary, just three years old, went to the roof of our 
house, where there was a little room, as it were, 
with seats having an uninterrupted view of the 
harbor, and we could see the smoke of the steamer 
steaming far away. It was terribly sad, and it took 
me many days and sleepless nights to recover from 
it. My daughter, all her life, never forgot seeing the 
smoke of the steamer as it sailed out toward the 

In the mean time a fine old Colonial house on 
Park Street, owned by Governor Gore, had been 


purchased by Mr. Frank Gray, a rich bachelor. He 
built a handsome residence for himself, and left a lot 
of nineteen feet for a small house. Dr. Warren's 
father, fully desirous to have his son near to him, 
purchased the lot and built a house for us, which had 
already been planned by the architect, Mr. George 
M. Dexter, and we were to move into it that autumn, 
after the return of my husband from his visit abroad. 
We enjoyed this change very much, and my husband, 
who always looked at the bright side of life, said it 
was better than Mr. Sears' beautiful house on Beacon 
Street, as it looked out on the Blue Hills in front 
and the old Granary Burying-Ground in the back. 

My brother Edward's marriage took place in the 
month of January following mine, in 1840. He mar- 
ried Caroline Welch, a very handsome young lady. 
She was a very lovely woman, and we were all much 
attached to her. My brother was a remarkably 
handsome young man. They had three sons. Ed- 
ward, the eldest, died of smallpox contracted in 
Boston. The second boy, Frank, was attacked by an 
illness during the Civil War, in which he took part, 
and died soon after. The third, Frederic, is now an 
artist, and lives in New York. Their mother mar- 
ried again (Mr. Howard Payson Arnold), and died in 
a consumption of long date, a number of years later. 

Very shortly after, being well satisfied and pleased 

[ S3] 
in our new home, my baby named Mason became 
ill from teething, and after a fall from a high seat in 
the nursery, struck his head, and from that time 
symptoms of dropsy on the brain developed, and he 
died in April. In 1846 another daughter came to us, 
and at that time my father presented me with the 
cottage at Nahant. It was owned by my brother 
George, who had built it and laid out the grounds, 
planted a hedge, and had occupied it for two or 
three summers. But as his son Caspar was not well 
there, he and his wife decided upon a visit abroad, 
and my father purchased the house from them and 
presented it to me. 

This gave me great pleasure, as I had always 
loved Nahant, and had not been there since my 
marriage, making Boston my summer home, only 
occasionally passing a few days, either at Nahant 
at my father's cottage, or at Brookline where Dr. 
Warren's family lived. When this new baby, who 
was named Rosamond, was a month old, I took pos- 
session of my new cottage at Nahant. This was in 
the month of August. There I have passed almost 
every summer of my life since. Once I went to New 
London, and three times I was in Europe. 

A daughter Eleanor, known as Nellie, and in a 
few years another daughter, Annie, were added to 
our family. 

t 54 1 

In 1 85 1 my father died very suddenly at the age 
of seventy-nine years. He had, for the last years of 
his life, been a sufferer from heart trouble, angina 
pectoris. The day of his death he left his house in 
company with Dr. Mifflin, who was devoted to him, 
and went down town to attend to some business, 
and while standing on the steps of some building, 
awaiting Dr. Mifflin's return to him, he fell, striking 
his head on the steps, and all was over. Though this 
was not unexpected, it was a great shock to me, as 
I had received a note from him that morning early, 
enclosing some money for me to give to a poor 
woman. I had asked it from him at dinner on the 
previous Saturday, for some of the family always 
dined with him on that day. 

Since my mother's death in 1840 he had had only 
my eldest sister Elizabeth to be both a housekeeper 
and companion to him. She was the only unmarried 
one left of the children. She was the eldest child, a 
remarkably handsome woman, and of very intellect- 
ual tastes. During her Washington career she had 
many admirers. One I recall was a Mr. Obregon, 1 
the Mexican Minister. He was desperately in love, 

1 Mr. Pablo Obregon, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister 
Plenipotentiary of Mexico to the United States, presented his 
credentials to this government Nov. 18, 1824. Mr. Obregon 
died at the Mexican Legation in Washington, Sept. 10, 1828. 

L 55 J 
and as she did not reciprocate his love he shot him- 
self. This was very shocking. 

She was deeply attached to a young and very 
attractive Englishman named Percy Doyle to whom 
she became engaged. He was the attache to the 
English Minister to this country, Sir Charles 
Vaughan. When Mr. Doyle returned to England 
his father would not consent to the marriage, and he 
never returned. My sister passed a very sad life, but 
after my father's death she became acquainted with 
an English clergyman, Rev. William Mountford, a 
Unitarian in doctrine and of much culture. He 
wrote many books, and was devoted to Spiritualism, 
which was much believed in by my sister. She 
finally became engaged, and they were married soon 
after my father's death. She lived in a house in 
Chestnut Street, and had as a part of her portion of 
my father's estate his cottage at Xahant. Unfor- 
tunately her fortune was wasted by the person who 
took care of it, and she became greatly embarrassed. 
She died after thirty years of married life when she 
was nearly eighty. Mr. Mountford lived but a short 
time after her death. 

In 185 1, on Thanksgiving Day, November 26. my 
fifth daughter arrived. This event was quite agitat- 
ing to me, as my house was very small. As I had no 
boy to take his father's name, we decided to give 


her the same initials, and selected the name of 
"Julia Mason," to be given her at her christening. 
This was done; but a few days later, we received the 
news of the death of Mrs. Jonathan Mason, a very- 
intimate friend, whose first name was Isabella, and 
we wished so much that we could have chosen this 
name for her, as the initials would be nearly the 
same. We consulted the clergyman, Rev. Dr. 
Vinton, who said he had done his part, and our 
lawyer said any name given so early would be con- 
sidered legal — so we adopted it, and she was 
always known as little "Bell." 

About this time Mrs. Dwight, my sister-in-law, 
was going to Europe with her husband and one boy 
(Tom), she having recently lost two children. She 
was very anxious that we should consent to have our 
eldest daughter Mary go with her, as she was of her 
son's age and his playmate. Although it would have 
lessened the cares of my family at this moment, we 
declined; yet, notwithstanding our crowded house, 
we invited my nephew (Benjamin Mifflin) to come 
and stay with us. His mother was going with her 
family to Europe, but did not wish to take this boy 
from his school, and as he was at the same school as 
my boy Collins we asked him to come and be a com- 
panion to him. Mrs. Dwight still urging us to send 
my daughter Mary to Paris to be in her care, we con- 

[57 1 
sented, and that year she went with a friend of ours 
to join her aunt. She was placed at school in the 
Convent of the Sacre Cceur, where she remained 
about a year. During that time she became very 
homesick and was anxious to come home to us. 

The following summer at Nahant my little Bell, 
a most interesting and healthy child, was taken ill 
with cholera infantum and lived only three days, 
and at the same time her sister Annie, a little older, 
was also ill, but recovered after a long illness. This 
sad event, added to Mary's absence, made me most 
anxious to go abroad to bring her home. I, too, had 
never been in Europe, so in the following May my 
husband told me one day that he had taken our pas- 
sages on a Cunard steamer (the America, I think), 
and that we, with our son Collins, were to go and 
bring Mary home. Ben Mifflin had previously 
joined his mother abroad. My sister, Mrs. Mount- 
ford, had no children, and she had begged to have 
my three little daughters, Rosamond, Eleanor, and 
Annie, pass the summer with her at Nahant, as we 
were to return early in October. 

We went first to London, and our friend and 
banker Mr. Russell Sturgis engaged a delightful 
suite of rooms for us at a hotel in Regent Street 
known as Maurigy's Hotel, quite small and almost 
like a private house. Mr. Abbott Lawrence was our 

[ 58] 

Minister there at that time and a great personal 
friend of ours, and he showed us many attentions. 
I remember going to a reception at the Baroness 
Burdett-Coutts'. She afterwards married an Ameri- 
can much younger than herself. We passed a de- 
lightful month in London, and then went to Paris. 
Here we met our dear child again, and also my sister 
Mrs. Mifflin and family. Her daughter, Eugenia, 
was of about the same age as mine and they were 
great friends. They had been under the care of a 
French family, both having been taken away from 
the Convent of the Sacre Cceur, as they were not 
happy there. We took Mary away, after a few weeks 
in Paris, and she travelled with us in Switzerland 
and returned home to Boston in October. 

Our return on the steamship Europa was most 
fortunate, for on arriving in England Dr. Warren 
wanted to take return passages on an American line 
of ships, and would have engaged our passages on 
the Arctic but for my great desire to come in the 
English Cunard ship Europa. He acceded to my 
earnest appeal not to choose the American ship, as 
I was very timid on the water. So we sailed in the 
Europa, and on arriving at Halifax — as in those 
days all the steamers stopped there — we received 
the news that the Arctic had been lost and only 
thirteen passengers saved. These had been picked 

up and brought to Halifax, and were put on board 
our vessel to reach Boston. 

Many of the passengers on the Arctic were friends 
of ours whom we had met while travelling in Swit- 
zerland. The description of the scene from those 
who were saved was awful. The ship sank very 
slowly but inevitably, and the scene was heart- 
rending. Money was scattered all over the ship, and 
all were reckless of their possessions. One young 
lady was inconsolable. It gave me much gratifica- 
tion that my obstinacy had saved us all. This was 
the second time in my life that I had persuaded my 
husband to take my advice, and that our lives had 
been saved in consequence. The first occasion was 
at the time of the railroad accident at Norwalk 
previous to this. 1 

1 The accident referred to occurred on the 6th of May, 1853. 
Dr. Warren had taken his wife and son and nephew — Benjamin 
Mifflin — to New York, on the occasion of the meeting of the 
American Medical Association. The party returned to Boston on 
the day in question, on the morning train. This was composed of 
an engine, baggage-car, and five passenger-cars. No Pullman cars 
existed at that time. 

Dr. Warren's family were seated in the centre of the central car 
in the train, and not, as was usually his custom, at the head of 
the car. In passing over the bridge at Norwalk, the train went 
through an open draw. The baggage-car, which was used as a 
smoking-car, and two passenger-cars went to the bottom of the 
river. The rear portion of the third car rested on the rails, so 


Before leaving London it was very gloomy and 
sad, — as the cholera had been raging there, and 
funerals were to be seen everywhere on the streets. 
We were glad to leave, and felt we never wished to 
return. Yet, how little do we know our fate! For in 
less than a year from the time we arrived home 
in October, we found ourselves actually returning to 

Dr. Warren's health had not been improved, and 
he was advised by some of his family, especially his 
sister Mrs. Dwight, to try a winter in Rome. We 
were, in the summer of that year, as usual, at Na- 
hant; but my husband decided it was best for him 
to try a winter in a warmer climate; so it was ar- 
ranged for him to leave Nahant in August and sail 
that month to avoid the September gales. We took 
with us our son Collins and two of the younger 
children, Rosamond and Nellie, leaving Mary, who 
had just returned with us from Paris, to be with her 
aunt Mrs. Mountford, which she was much pleased 

that Dr. Warren and his family were able to escape by walking 
through the rear of the train. 

There were sixty people killed in this accident, including Dr. 
Peirson of Salem, and several other physicians returning from the 
meeting of the Association. 

It was Mrs. Warren's desire not to sit at the head of the car 
that led to the safety of the party, as the person who sat there was 
found to be among those killed. 

[6i ] 

to do; and the youngest child (Annie), only five 
years old, was to go with her nurse to the Misses 
Brown, who were relatives and friends of their 
father. Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan Warren were to live, 
during our absence, in our home at 6 Park Street, 
as they would be near Dr. Warren's father, who 
lived alone with only a housekeeper, his second wife 
(who was a Miss Winthrop) having recently died. 

This visit proved to be a very sad one. On reach- 
ing Paris we travelled to Dijon in a private carriage 
which was placed upon the.train. This was very 
agitating, not being very steady, and what with that 
fact, fear, and the torments of the fleas, which near- 
ly ate me up, I was not very happy. On reaching 
Geneva, I took Collins and our courier (leaving 
Dr. Warren and the two girls at Geneva), and went 
to Vevay to place Collins at Sillig's School, where we 
had already engaged his place. I passed a night and 
the day following there, and returned to Geneva ; as 
there were boys from Boston there (some of the 
Curtis family), Coll felt very satisfied to be left at 
school. We left Geneva the next day in our carriage 
and started by "post" 1 for Rome, which we reached 
early in November, and had an apartment in the 

1 Dr. Warren purchased from Mr. James C. Davis in Paris an 
English post carriage with rumble behind for the courier and 
driven by a mounted postillion. This was sold on reaching Rome. 


Piazza di Spagna at the corner of the high steps 
leading to the Trinita de' Monti. 

Mr. Hooker was at that time our banker, and there 
were many friends from home that we knew there. 
We had a French teacher for the children. It was a 
very cold winter, and snow and icicles were to be 
seen around the fountains, and ice on the streets. 
It was a source of much amusement to the Italians 
to see our children sliding on the ice, as they could 
hardly stand on it. The children had a very happy 
winter, and I recall Nellie's eighth birthday there 
on the 1 6th of December, when she much enjoyed 
coaxing presents from all about her. Having for 
a long time admired a little bonbon in a confec- 
tioner's window, opposite our apartment, and gazed 
earnestly at it, she was called in, and it was pre- 
sented to her by the owner. As we were almost daily 
customers at the shop, they took a great interest 
in Nellie. It was, however, a very sad winter for me, 
as my husband's health did not improve. It was 
finally decided by his physician that it was best for 
him to leave Rome, and accordingly we decided to 
attempt it. Dr. Warren suffered much from a neur- 
algic pain in his hip and leg, and finally could only 
lie in a horizontal position. Through the kindness 
of our friend and neighbor from Boston Mr. Josiah 
Quincy, who kindly offered to accompany us, and 

16 3 ] 

also Dr. John Gorham, a cousin of Dr. Warren, who 
had for some years lived in Rome, we decided to 
make the journey. We had a spring mattress made, 
to be placed in a carriage across the seats, and then 
with Mr. Quincy and myself occupying the other 
two seats, and Dr. Warren on the mattress, we started 
on our long journey. The children with maid and 
courier followed us in another carriage. We were 
to reach Civita Vecchia, and then take a steamer 
to France and reach Paris. This was accomplished, 
I remember. 1 

1 After spending the spring in Paris and leaving for England, 
Dr. and Mrs. Warren and family reached home in the early sum- 
mer and went to the estate in Brookline of Dr. Warren's father, 
who had recently died. Here he soon recovered his health. 



Hon. Benjamin Williams Crowninshield 1 

Note i. — James Madison, President, 1813-1817. 
Benjamin W. Crowninshield of Massachusetts, 
Commission as Secretary of the Navy dated 
Dec. 19, 1814. 

Note 2. — James Monroe, President, 1817-1821. 
Benjamin W. Crowninshield continued from 
Madison's Administration until Oct. 1, 181 8, 
when he resigned. 

Note 3. — Presidential Elector, 1820. 

Note 4. — Massachusetts House of Representa- 
tives 1 82 1 and 1823. 

Note 5. — United States House of Representatives, 
Dec. 1, 1823 to March 3, 1831. Member of the 
1 8th, 19th, 20th, and 21st Congresses. Defeated 
for 22nd Congress. 

1 8th Congress. 

Dec. 1, 1823 — May 27, 1824, 1st Session. 
Dec. 6, 1824 — Mar. 3, 1825, 2nd Session. 

1 Essex County Registry of Deeds, Salem, Mass. 


19th Congress. 
Dec. 5, 1825 — May 22, 1826, 1st Session. 
Dec. 4, 1826 — Mar. 3, 1827, 2nd Session. 

20th Congress. 
Dec. 2, 1827 — May 26, 1828, 1st Session. 
Dec. 1, 1828 — Mar. 3, 1829, 2nd Session. 

2 1 st Congress. 
Dec. 7, 1829 — May 31, 1830, 1st Session. 
Dec. 6, 1830 — Mar. 3, 1831, 2nd Session. 

Benjamin W. Crowninshield, Salem. 

Defeated by Rufus Choate for 22nd Congress. 

Dec. 5, 1831 — July 16, 1832, 1st Session. 
Dec. 3, 1832 — Mar. 2, 1833, 2nd Session. 

*T he following records also appear in the Registry 
of Deeds y Salem. 

Note 6. — On September 5, 1821, Daniel Estes 
deeded to Benjamin W. Crowninshield a farm in 
Topsfleld containing 100 acres more or less. 

Note 7. — On April 8, 1822, Ezekiel Hersey Derby 
deeded to Benjamin W. Crowninshield the house 
on Essex Street No. 204, opposite the Market. 

Note 8. — On April 18, 1832, Benjamin W. Crown- 
inshield deeded to his niece Sarah G. Rogers, 
wife of Richard S. Rogers, this same house with 
the land for the sum of $10,000.